Max Verstappen topped the time chart once more in FP1 in his bid to secure another win in Austria for the second time this year.
The first practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix saw drivers testing out Pirelli’s new tyre configurations.
You’ll spot a few plain black unmarked tyres out on track today. These are a new specification of rear tyre that is being tested, with a different construction. Each driver has two sets of these, which can be used in either free practice session. #AustrianGP
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) July 2, 2021
A few new faces appeared in this first session, including Callum Ilott in the cockpit for Alfa Romeo, Roy Nissany for Williams and Guanyu Zhou for Alpine who did well to finish only four tenths behind Esteban Ocon.
A few of the drivers struggled to keep their cars on track at times. Lance Stroll went off-track twice, once at Turn 6 and again at Turn 10 but managed to get going again, albeit with a couple of new flat spots on his tyres which required changing.
Turn 1 proved tricky with some drivers going wide over the yellow so-called sausage kerb. Meanwhile the two Alpha Tauri drivers were not happy with the amount of traffic that they felt was making it hard to get the most out of their session.
With it being such a short track, traffic is a common problem and we saw last weekend frequent trains of cars following each other around the circuit.
Lewis Hamilton lost a couple of his lap times for exceeding track limits, a problem that was persistent at the track last weekend too. He was not impressed by Nikita Mazepin getting in his way on a hot lap, who had a couple of wobbles during his session.
Troubles at Turn 3 😮
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 2, 2021
Both Mercedes struggled with getting their tyres warmed up and as a result, a lack of grip, which translated into their positions in the time sheets, with Valtteri Bottas fourth and Hamilton only seventh.
Red Bull’s Verstappen appeared strong throughout the session, lingering at the top end of the time sheets the whole way through before ending up on top. His teammate, Sergio Perez, was eighth behind Hamilton.
Ferrari had a good practice session with both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz setting the second and third quickest times respectively, just under three tenths off Verstappen’s time.
Tsunoda and Raikkonen each had an excellent session to put themselves high up into the top ten of the fastest drivers this morning.
The session ended with some drivers lining up on the grid for a practice start rather than in the pit lane where there is a steep hill.
The final classification for FP1 was as follows:
- Max Verstappen
- Charles Leclerc
- Carlos Sainz
- Valtteri Bottas
- Yuki Tsunoda
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Lewis Hamilton
- Sergio Perez
- Pierre Gasly
- Lando Norris
- Esteban Ocon
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Lance Stroll
- Guanyu Zhou
- Sebastian Vettel
- Callum Ilott
- Mick Schumacher
- Roy Nissany
- Nicholas Latifi
- Nikita Mazepin